Dust

Indoor dust contains human and animal hair and skin cells, mite and cockroach allergens, minerals from outdoor soil, and things like fabric and paper fibres …. and yes, you guessed it, pollen.

Dust is nothing less than turbo-charged allergy sprinkles, so ignore it for long enough and it can quite easily take over your nostrils.

If you’re serious about minimising medical treatment for your hayfever, get serious about dust and dust mite removal.

Dust mites (see section below) are an extremely naughty contributor to house and office dust. Their bodies and waste are too heavy to float away so the dust they create will settle and remain on floors and bedding until you remove it.

The Dust Problem Cycle

Dust, hayfever and human tendencies collaborate in an all too common vicious cycle of hayfever hell. The cycle goes a little something like this:

  • Dust makes you sneeze …
  • so when you clean you sneeze …
  • so you don’t want to clean …
  • so more dust builds up …
  • so your dust allergy worsens …
  • so cleaning is even more difficult …
  • so even more dust builds up …
  • so your dust allergy worsens …
  • so pollen triggers more sneezing fits …
  • so you keep doors and windows closed …
  • so even more dust is trapped inside …
  • so your dust allergy worsens …

So what’s the solution? How do you break the cycle?

It’s simple. Just MASK, SUCK, and ZAP

1. MASK – Clean house every week, wearing a dust mask – masks are easy to find and cost less than a box of tissues. It’s a very good idea to keep your mask on if you’re venturing outside to do some work in the garden too.

2. SUCK – Vacuum every week, preferably with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner – it will remove 99.7% of microscopic particles and prevent dust and allergens from escaping back into the air.

It also pays to steam clean at least once per year – renting a steam cleaner for an entire day costs less than lunch. Don’t forget to give all fabric furniture a good going over too.

POINT: Be sure to vacuum after steam cleaning to remove dust mites.

3. ZAP – Buy an ioniser like Sharp’s Plasmacluster – it will automatically remove dust, dander, pollen and even viruses and odours from the air whenever it senses them.

All you have to do is leave it running (at very little cost) and get some sleep.

Dust Mites

Sources suggest that up to 10-15% of the weight of a 2 year old pillow is dust mites and dust mite waste1.  

Some sources even suggest that dust mites can double the weight of a ten-year old mattress2!

Dust mite excrement contains a highly allergenic substance called DerP13. There can be up to 20,000 dust mites in just one gram of dust.

Asthma Council of Australia has reported that not only are dust mites the number one trigger for asthma4, but 40% of hayfever sufferers’ symptoms are triggered by dust or dust mites.

Give yourself a fighting chance of beating hayfever, and get some more peaceful rest:

  • Get rid of that infested winter pillow ASAP
  • Do not buy feather or down pillows
  • Do not let pets into the bedroom
  • Put your mattress in the sun
  • Vacuum under your bed
  • Change your sheets
  • Clean curtains and blinds and ensure rooms are dry and well ventilated

Keep in mind also that bedding and mattresses, like hats and shoes, are not meant to stay with you for life.

Consider dropping off your faithful old mattress at the dump as you head off to buy a brand new one containing a grand total of zero allergenic dust mites.

POINT: If you spill liquid on your pillow and it is wet for a while, consider getting rid of it – no need to risk blasting your nostrils with a mould colony.

Wash linen once a week in hot water, and dry it in a warm dryer if you’d like to impose maximum wrath on your tiny arachnid friends.

Some allergists may recommend you encase your mattress and pillows in allergen-proof mite covers. Well worth the cost, these types of covers are made of a weave that is so tight not even dust mites can penetrate it.

Get rid of carpet and fabric drapes in the bedroom. Wooden flooring and non-fabric (e.g. Venetian) blinds are preferrable for those who are hypersensitive or allergic to dust mites.